Physicians must meet certain requirements to maintain their certification. Many times this means taking continuing education courses and passing exams to show that they've learned the topics. Though the education received is meant to benefit patient care, the time spent preparing for and taking these courses means time away from patients. But does the constant push to re-certify actually create better physicians?
"[L]ess than 5% of doctors feel that [re-certification] makes them better able to care for patients."
Additionally, the requirements for re-certification is not imposed on all physicians. Older doctors are grandfathered in so that they don't have to meet the requirements, but they are not worse at their practices than those who must get re-certified every year. So, the evidence doesn't seem to be present to support re-certification as a method of improved care.
What does this mean in the long term? Perhaps a re-evaluation of certification requirements is needed. When more patients are going to be entering the medical marketplace, physicians must be able to maintain their practices with the latest information while also remaining available for the patients. A new balance of time must be sought because patient care can only be improved when the physician is around to treat them.